Pulpit message: The dilemma that can be solved
Our government has a dilemma. Imagine yourself a fly on the wall of the Cabinet Room as you listen in.
Minister of Health (as he consults a large file of papers): Covid-19… hasn’t gone away… wash your hands… social distance... no unnecessary travel...work from home... face masks… limit all gatherings… Oh and yes, I need more money for the Health Service.
Business Secretary (bigger file of papers): Generate revenue… back to work… visit shops… spend money… unemployed… Oh and yes, I need more money to kick start the economy.
Chancellor of the Exchequer (two piles of papers): Vast sums paid out... furloughing… industry subsidies… commerce supported… balance of payments…borrowing, borrowing, borrowing… years, decades in hock… debt, debt, debt... taxes.
Prime Minister When can we get back to normal?
Business Secretary (discovering another file from the Secretary of State for Science) let me see… long phrases… big words… hmmm… hmmm… I don’t know, but I need more money for research.
Yes! Our government has a dilemma, as do many other governments. I don’t have the answer. Do you? Let’s spare a thought for those whom God has placed in positions of authority, and pray for them too as the Lord has told us. (1 Timothy 2:2)
3,300 years ago in the land of Egypt a man called Moses had a dilemma. He was a royal prince with vast resources available to him. He lived in the lap of luxury – gold, jewels, sumptuous feasts, servants, entertainment – what more could anyone ask for? Yet he had a dilemma. He was a Hebrew. Those who were his real family were despised slaves, treated as less than animals. But worse than that – whereas the Egyptian court in which he lived was a centre of corruption, tyranny and paganism – Moses had been brought up among the covenant people of Yahweh. He knew that the religion of those among whom he was living was utterly wrong, and that the real true God was the God of the Hebrews.
Here was a young man whose life was a practical example of the proverb that was to be penned by Solomon many centuries later: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” No doubt his conscience often agonised over this difficult situation. But Moses was a wise young man. He did something that a lot of people don’t do. He didn’t just brush the matter aside, or try to forget about it. He took a long hard look at his situation, weighed up the pros and cons, and came to a decision.
The inspired writer to the Hebrews put it this way: “By faith, Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)
The choice that Moses made was the right one. He made his choice “By faith” in the One whom he could only know about through the types and sacrifices of the Old Testament. Today we can see far more clearly than he ever could, for we have God’s full description of how Christ died for our sins. We too have the challenging words of the Saviour “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 9:36)
Yes, we have a dilemma, but thank God that He has given us the solution in the person of his Son.
By Wor. Bro. Rev. Ian McClean, Grand Chaplain